How to Use

Use, preparation and care instructions:

Using rough or smooth side of the leather strop is a matter of personal preference, it depends on several factors, depending on the kind of blade, kind of buffing compound or not using any compound, humidity, current sharpness of the blade, etc.

For this reason if we offer a fixed instructions these could not serve for certain types of uses and could lead to a bad use depending on the tool or the edge to be stropped. That said, we can give some general instructions but never particular instructions, I hope you understand. For specific instructions or not explained at this page please contact.

Anyway you can use use both sides of the leather, in some articles the side where our logo is engraved is the smooth side and we provide this information on Amazon for each product we sell.

  • What is a Strop? A Leather Strop is used for the final stage of sharpening and to maintain a sharp edge. The function is to polish the edge and work off any burr left behind by sharpening stones, so the edge should be sharp before using the strop. The leather strop does not replace a sharpening stone only complements it for getting a final, smoothing, razor sharp edge. So please make sure your cutting edge is completely sharpened on a sharpening machine, good whetstone or diamond stone before proceeding to strop it.
  • Adhesives Tapes: Our strops can be mounted to a rigid base like a board, avoid troubles with glue, for that reason we provide double-sided adhesive tapes in SOME of our articles, please check if you have them. Here you can see two ways to mount our adhesive tapes in case you have them, sticking the tapes first to the leather or to the block, choose and proceed according to your convenience:  
  • If you have bought our SET or our PACK WITHOUT any compound, you can apply a compound you already have or USE OUR STROPS DIRECTLY as it comes, just proceed stropping your blade the same way you see in the picture bellow but without applying any compound. You can start stropping on the rough suede side first and finishing on the smooth side.
  •  Using a Strop. Strops are frequently used with honing or polishing compounds, the extremely fine abrasives that give a mirror polish to an edge. Start by applying it to the surface of the strop, no need to cake it on, just do it like coloring with a crayon.
    Hold the bevel against the surface of the strop with LIGHT PRESSURE and move the blade away from the cutting edge. Turn the blade over and do the same on the other side.
    Never move the blade toward the cutting edge as it will cut into the strop resulting in dulling of the edge and damage to the leather.
  • We recommend to clean the blade before stropping in order no to leave a layer of dirty on the strop. Clean your blades with water after stropping.

  • Compound ? A strop can be used with or without any compound. They are made of a combination of abrasive material and natural waxes. Our Compounds are NOT dry, chalky, brittle, or flaking so no need to heat up the leather or the compound. They come in transparent plastic bags hermetically sealed and labeled with conservation instructions and sequence of use in some cases.

Knife and tools users often use a compound. They can find the type of compound they prefer, to choose among different types of compounds is a matter of personal preference BUT we provide the polishing compounds in some of our leather strops, specifically in the LEATHER HONING STROP, the POCKET STROP, the COMBO, the KIT, the STROP BLOCK KIT , LEATHER HONING STROP BLOCK and the BUNDLE KIT.

  • The SET and the PACK  come without any compound, in case you already have them or you prefer to buy the compound separately or you prefer to strop without any compound, that is, directly on the plain leather, as the old barbers did.
  • Polishing compound will show results more quickly than plain. So we recommend first using a strop with compounds and then following up with a few strokes on the other plain strop if you have it. But both systems are OK, with or without compound.

If you have some of these items: the LEATHER HONING STROP, the POCKET STROP, the KIT, the COMBO, the STROP BLOCK KIT or the LEATHER HONING STROP BLOCK, then you will have one or several leather strops and 1, 2 or 3 Compound Colors, depending on the article you bought. We recommend then:

  • )    Step 1.  Apply the Coarse Black, the more abrasive one, and start stropping as showed above.
  • )    Step 2. Apply to other side the Medium Green, medium abrasive, and continue stropping. Medium Universal Green.
  • )    Step 3. Apply to other side the Fine White (if you have it), the finest one, and finish stropping with compounds. 
  • )    Step 4. A few strokes on a plain strop. (It could not be necessary after the White one but useful after the Green one in case you do not have the White one.
  • Finally if you only have the Medium Green Compound it is a good option to strop your blades or tools only using this Green Compound because it is the most universal and used one. 
  •  Suede or smooth side? Mostly of our Leather Strops come in both suede and smooth options, other only suede side. You can have both on the same strop block. Our Suede side has an especially PRESSED short and dense nap, what is most ideal to receive the Compound. When using our suede strops the short nap of the suede holds onto compound well allowing to be loaded easily. Our suede side and suede strops have been specially treated to take Compounds. The secret of our suede is to have a short and shaved nap while pressed and dense, this allows the blade to pass through a smooth and soft but at the same time absorbent surface.

          It’s up to you, but applying compound to the smooth side is a great decision too, which is more, both sides works perfectly with compound.
          Our BRAND Logo is embossed on the smooth side in some of our articles, not all. But both side are easily recognized.

  • YOU CAN ALWAYS remove all types of residual grease, dirt or old compound with sandpaper and reload with new compound when needed.
    Our Vegetable Leather admits to be sanded on both smooth and suede side.

– And I add: Depends on the dryness of the environment and the compound to be used in some occasions, it is advisable to moisten the smooth surface a little with a water sprayer.

– There are people who like to use the rough side for example when the knife or blade is sharp but not too much and needs at the first time a lot of friction with our Coarse Black or another tough polishing compound. But for just a daily keeping of the blade I recommend using the Medium Green or the Fine White compound.

– About care of the products, vegetable tanned leather is a very natural product, you only need to use it and when you think the compound is old and dirty please sand the leather without any problem and get it ready to apply new compound again. Our leather tannery process is called Natural Paste, so you can work on a very natural and pure leather skin without any problem.

When we use our special pressed and dense Vegetable Suede for some of our strops we recommend to sand with a fine sandpaper the old dirty from time to time and put some drops of olive oil when you feel the strop is dry and needs an update, just so. You can always reload with more compound.

                  This is our Leather Strop Block PRELOADED with Green Compound , an example of especially treated, pressed, shaved, dense and short nap of our vegetable tanned suede leather. We hand-rub and apply the Compound while is still warm, this way it is well introduced into the nap of the leather. Then we make a secret process of leveling of the compound to leave the surface completely even, with no lumps or spots. The maintenance will be only to sand with a fine sandpaper from time to time when needed to remove old dirty and grease. We recommend to clean the blade before stropping in order no to leave a layer of dirty on the strop. Clean your blades with water after stropping.

and our Leather Honing Strop Block with 1 ounce of Green Compound, another example of specially treated shaved vegetable tanned suede leather.

Remember, after sharpening it’s time to HONE-STROP, after honing-stropping, clean your knife with water.

If you need more information please do not hesitate to contact and I will be happy to try to solve your doubts.

Finally if you are thinking of purchasing one of our Leather Strops please go to amazon via our website Amazon links. But If you are a customer already, please I would beg you to leave your sincere review on Amazon, this will help us a lot.

Kind Regards,

Juan L.

Upon Leather. Upon Company